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  1. Iaevich
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    Iaevich Member

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    Maturation plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Iaevich, Jan 27, 2009.

    Hey All

    I'm currently planning a new book. One of my story arcs is a maturation plot for the main character (he moves from quiet, careful individual, to independent, confident hero).

    The early scenes place him in a negative environment where he is bullied etc.

    My question is, how important do you think it is to have him return to this environment as a hero and confront his aggressors? I naturally have a main plot totally distinct from these early characters, but I'm reticent to leave part of the book unresolved. Conversely, I don't want to fall into cliche where this kind of thing has to be dealt with. The best parallel that I can think of is Stardust (film, not book, though I suspect they are similar), where the protagonist goes looking for a star to return to his love before realising that she isn't want he wants. Note though, that this is a binding plot device, whereas in my book, you could quite easily forget about the initial characters.

    Cheers all

    I
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The only reason for returning to face the early environment is to emphasize the growth he has undergone.

    Frankly, I would be far more impressed if he reaches a point where he stops obseesing over those bullies amd moves on. Perhaps even a conscious decision to let it go would be more telling. For example, if he had tickets (or whatever fits the story) to return there to get even, and he tears up those tickets and drops them in the dustbin.

    You certainly don't want him to return simply to become the new bully.
     
  3. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    ^^ That right there was my initial thought when I was reading through your post... Generally speaking, however, I think it's completely up to you - I know that sounds unhelpful, but what I actually mean is that it's more than possible to write your story in such a way as to not leave the reader thinking 'but what about those guys...?' without having your character go back to resolve the issue directly. (Conversely, it's entirely possible to make that event seem so important to the reader that it won't actually come across as a lame cliche - just necessary).

    Even though it still hovers quite largely over cliche territory, one of the more obvious ways would be for your character to simply conclude that it's not worth it to give events from his past that kind of time and energy.

    So yeah... Up to you. (The most unhelpful advice ever? :D)
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It really depends on whether ot not he has to go back to the place he left originally. In Stardust, he went back to give the token to the girl, not to face the bully. It was just a coincidence, as far as the characters are concerned, that the bully showed up at the same time. He was also just having a small joke at their expense, not really trying to defeat the guy. In Willow, he has to go back because that's where his wife and children are. He doesn't really set out to get back at the guy who was tormenting him at the beginning, but he shows the village that he's become a real sorceror by producing a bird from an apple. The bird poops the on the guy's face. So there is an element of justice in it, but he's not really getting revenge or becoming the bully himself.
     
  5. Iaevich
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    Iaevich Member

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    Thanks for the replies - I hadn't intended on making the protagonist the bully, as agree that that would be a terrible development in the story. Since I'm writing a children's book I concluded today that it's actually quite important to return the protagonist to the initial scene so that it's clear that he has transcended his initial environment. I think I've come up with a reasonable way of managing this so hopefully that problem is solved (naturally it has spawned several others however!)
     
  6. Aristocrazy
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    Aristocrazy Member

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    honestly from my point id just forget about it cause a few loose-ends like that give the story a more real feel imho cause rarely in life do things all tie up nice and dandy
     
  7. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    He could be placed in a situation where he saves somebody else from the same type of bully that harassed him.
     
  8. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    It would be an interesting twist, I think, if he went back and faced his fears, but then realised he himself had become the bully. A sort of irony.

    But if you want a happy ending, that won't work, obviously :).
     

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